To Catch a Spy : The Story of George the Snitch

Dennis the Menace from The Comics Curmudgeon.

To catch a spy II:
A short history of one snitch

By Richard Lee / The Rag Blog / April 12, 2010

[The Rag Blog published an article by Lisa Fithian about acknowledged FBI informant Brandon Darby, on March 22, 2010. Lisa’s piece received thousands of hits, and was reposted all over the Internet. And for Richard, it brought to mind another story from another time. For links to Rag Blog material about Brandon Darby and the infiltration of community groups by law enforcement agencies, see below.]

This is the story of George, not his whole story, just the part I know about.

San Diego, 1972. Nixon is coming here. We have been planning his welcome since Chicago four years ago. Not heavy planning at first, but as time passed we worked on the Republican Convention ’72 with increasing intensity, and as we left Washington after the huge MAYDAY demo in May of ’71 we said our goodbyes to our tribes with the phrase, “See ya next year in San Diego.”

The San Diego Convention Coalition in the spring of that year was made up of dozens of groups from across the country. Our affinity group arrived in March to help organize. In that time, one of the strongest groups that planned to attend was Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW.)

Two of us from our little affinity group were veterans. I had participated in some VVAW actions back in Boston, and we began to attend meetings of the San Diego chapter. Our thinking at the time was that, counting vets and their families, VVAW would bring about 50,000 demonstrators.

We met in public, open meetings once a week, and each week we would have two or three more vets than the last week.

One week a new guy came. His name was George. He was a vet; he had been in the Army for about a year, before he took the honorable way out with a Bad Conduct Discharge. My partner and I thought he might be the kinda guy we could relate to, and decided to get to know him better.

That VVAW meeting was the first time he had ever been to an anti-war gathering. George had no politics, neither left nor right, Republican or Democrat, he said he was against the war, but knew very little about it. He took notes, we stole them from him, and those notes consisted of little more than names, most misspelled.

We talked it over with some of the others in the chapter and decided that George needed a closer look. A week after the meeting, we invited George to go to out for a couple of beers. Instead, we drove to an isolated part of a park and started asking George some sharp questions. He didn’t put up much resistance, and after a couple minutes he ‘fessed up and began to tell us his story.

George was not only a vet, he was an ex-con, he had done nearly two years on a heroin conviction and was still on parole. Recently he’d been caught with a dirty spike by the SDPD. Instead of violating him, the SD pigs turned him over to the FBI. The feds told George they could make his bust go away if he would do a little something for them. VVAW was that something. And that was how George came to show up at the weekly meeting.

We spent an hour or so debriefing George. He told us that after the last meeting he went two blocks up the street where his handler was waiting in a car. They drove around while the feebee asked him questions; the Man was pissed that he had lost his notes (the ones we had stolen) and he couldn’t remember names. FBI man showed him pictures and when he recognized one, they wanted to know what the pictured vet had said.

I felt sorry for George. He was a loser, he had never won anything in his life and he never expected to. He hadn’t really hurt us at all, it was a public meeting of 20 or so people, we talked mostly about where we were going to camp the brothers and how we were going to feed them. But then again we couldn’t let him hang around, maybe to plant a wire, maybe to later tell lies at some trial. So, we told him it was over and not to come back. I wanted to give him a hug when we parted, but refrained.

The next week we reported what had happened to the membership. As we finished, the door opened and there was George again. He had given it some thought and seen that we were the right side to be on, and asked to be let back in. We put it to a vote, and it was surprisingly close, but he lost his bid. I knew his handler had put him up to it. George left and I never saw him again.

George didn’t become a snitch because of his politics, he had none. He didn’t do it for money, they didn’t pay him. George was only a junkie, a poor one, and he didn’t want to go back to the joint.

It leaves me with the question. What about Brandon Darby? Was it politics? Was it money? Was he jammed up? Blackmailed? Was he simply used, like poor George, or is he really just a snitch from that layer of scum that lies just above the scabs?

Also see:

  • To catch a spy by OneLove (now revealed to be Richard Lee) / The Rag Blog / January 11, 2009

And, Rag Blog articles about Brandon Darby and the Texas 2:

For more background on the history of informants in Texas, read The Spies of Texas by Thorne Dreyer / The Texas Observer / Nov. 17, 2006.

The Rag Blog

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3 Responses to To Catch a Spy : The Story of George the Snitch

  1. I would love to share a cold one sometime. I dont think we would agree on much, but you are a fascinating person and an honest one as well.

  2. Folks wouldn’t have to go to bigoted su[erstitious gatherings like churches if labor unions had more family dances, afterschool activities and even owned sports teams to build loyalty! Now that the anti-science, superstition-based initiative presidency is over, we need Manhattan projects to make us great again and boost us out of this Grotesque Depression. First we must provide free advertising-based wimax wireless internet to everyone to end land line monopolies. Better yet, renationalize the telephone companies like in 1917 and now put them and the DTV fiasco and the internet under a renationalized post office. Because bovine flatulence is the major source of greenhouse gases, we must develop home growable microbes to provide all of our protein. We must finally join the metric system and take advantage of DTV problems to create a unified global standard for television and cellular telephones instead of this Anglo Saxon competitive waste. We must address that most illness starts from behavior, especially from parents. Since paranoid schizophrenia is the cause of racism, bigotry, homelessness, terrorism, ignorance, exploitation and criminality, we must provide put the appropriate medications, like lithium, in the water supply and require dangerous wingnuts who refuse free mental health care to be implanted with drug release devices. Churches should be licensed to reduce supersition and all clergy dealing with small children should be psychiatrically monitored to prevent molesting. We need to psychiatrically regulate the preachers and teachers that produce these creatures. Osama bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh were the ultimate superstition based initiatives. Aborting future terrorists and sterilizing their parents is the most effective homeland security. Preganancy is a shelfish, environmentally desturctive act and must be punished, not rewarded with benefits, preference and leave. Widen navigation straits (Gibraltar, Suez, Malacca, Danube, Panama and Hellspont) with deep nukes to prevent war. In order to fund this we must nationalize the entire financial, electrical and transportation system and extinguish the silly feudal notion that each industry should be regulated by its peers. Technology mandates a transformation of tax subsidies from feudal forecloseable debt to risk sharing equity. Real estate and insurance, the engines of feudalism, must be brought under the Federal Reserve so we may replace all buildings with hazardous materials to provide public works. Insects, flooding and fire spread asbestos, lead and mold which prematurely disables the disadvantaged. Disposable manufactured housing assures children are not prematurely disabled and disadvantaged. Because feudalism is the threat to progress everywhere, we must abolish large land holdings by farmers, foresters or religions and instead make all such large landholding part of the forest service so our trees may diminish greenhouse gases. Darwin led to the worst colonial, militarist, atrocity and stock market abuses in history – Lamarkian inhertiance and mitochondrial DNA show that Darwin was not all he is crackered up to be. We must abolish executive pay and make sure all employees in a company are all paid equally. We must abolish this exploitative idea of trade and monopoly and make every manufactured disposable cottage self sufficient through the microbes we invent. Southern Oligarchs destroyed the Democarts in the sixties and destroyed the Republicans this decade – they would not allow viable candidates like Colin Powell, Mitt Romney or Condi Rice to even be considered!

  3. Richard says:

    Vernon,
    Are you nuts? Is this a joke?

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